Building the perfect leader

by Iain Hopkins31 Oct 2011

Similar to mechanics who look after everyone else’s cars except their own, HR professionals often look after everyone else’s development needs except their own.

Julie-Anne Tooth, herself a former senior HR professional and now associate of the Institute of Executive Coaching, sees the tide turning. “As a HR professional, I was always interested in developing the HR skills that really mattered, which were interestingly enough not ‘HR’ skills but ‘business’ skills and most importantly the commercial and business acumen which is the chosen dialect of our key stakeholders in the business,” she says.

However, now that she is a coach who adopts a strengths-based approach to working with clients, Tooth sees the equation somewhat differently: “As a coach, I think a more interesting question relates to what strengths HR professionals possess and how might they use those more effectively in the business.”

Nonetheless, Tooth believes it’s important (and healthy) for the HR profession to take a critical look at itself from time to time. “I do agree that sometimes HR professionals do not prioritise their own development or give emphasis to the right type of development opportunities for themselves.”

On that note, here are some of the most popular options.


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